St. Bartholomew and the Rest of Us

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Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:46)

It is so easy to write off a person, a town, or even a city. The life of St. Bartholomew who we celebrate today is a clear testimony to this fact. He was obviously not pleased when Philip told him that the Long-Awaited Messiah is from Nazareth.

Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael) asked a question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Imagine someone asking if anything good can come out of your town. Jesus said two things about Bartholomew that sums up his life;

One, he was a man without any guile. Meaning, he was such an upright person unlike the Pharisees Jesus condemned for their hypocrisy. Two, Jesus said He saw Bartholomew under the fig tree – symbolic of a deep prayer life. Through his prayer life, Bartholomew literally attracted Jesus to himself.

After Jesus summed up his life, Bartholomew knew that only God could have such details about him. Bartholomew fell on his face and worshipped Jesus. Unlike the other apostles who had a hard time believing that Jesus is God, Bartholomew’s faith was more like love at first sight.

As we reflect on the life of Bartholomew, we are called to look at our own lives. How committed am I to living uprightly? Do I tell lies? How close am I to God? How good is my prayer life? Do I still recognize Jesus Christ as God? Or have I come to take Jesus’ presence for granted?

Jesus promised Bartholomew that he would see greater things; that he would see heaven opened and the angels ascending and descending. This statement of Jesus further makes us convinced that Bartholomew is in heaven right now. The saints are not simply “dead people”, they are alive with God and our faith in this truth is the reason we ask for their intercession.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase in me a longing for heaven. Amen.
St. Bartholomew, Pray for us.

Bible Study: Apocalypse 21:9-14, Psalm 145:10-18, John 1:45-51).

Fr. Abu

Religion